Friday, December 6, 2013

More about Reelights on Niholas

I thought I should add a bit to the topic of Reelights on a Nihola.  I had noticed that the rear blinker (SL620) wasn't flashing at walking speeds (which is also pedaling speed on a particular hill I drive up most mornings) so I added a third magnet, and that solved the problem.  It seems to flash at just about any speed, it seems to quickly charge up its capacitor (for flashing when stopped), and I can't think of any downside except that I had to find a third magnet.

Reelight magnet and generator on a Nihola.
Magnet placement is actually a little bit important.  My wheels are 36 spoke, so two magnets can not be spaced evenly (unless mounted off-centered on the spokes).  Three magnets can be mounted at even intervals (while all being mounted centered), which is what I did on the Nihola.  However unequal spacing can actually be a good thing with a flashing Reelight, because the light often flashes right when the magnet passes the generator, and if the magnets arrive at uneven intervals, the light flashes less evenly.  But it gets better than that, because the light also appears to try to flash according to a timer.  The precise way that power-pulses and the timer interact is hard to determine, but I mounted three magnets on my wife's commuting bike as well, at highly unequal intervals, and it seems to give a nice semi-random flashing pattern at biking speed.  (And it also flashes at walking speed.)

Three magnets at a good speed, I'm guessing 25 km/hr, gives almost continuous illumination on a Reelight SL620.  It still flickers and does random-looking things, but a human eye wouldn't perceive it as getting dark.

Anyway a final bit about mounting the generator on a Nihola.  The steel frame in the rear is fairly thin, and proves somewhat less than ideal grip to the Reelight generator.  Its not a big deal, but a few times I've had to adjust it to keep it from rubbing on the magnets.

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